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Summary: Things are not as they seem for the NUMB3RS crew.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Numb3rs > Oz - CenteredPaBurkeFR13104,86434727,7026 Jan 0813 Jun 08No

Guarded Defense

Guarded Defense
by PaBurke
Distribution: The Nook, TtH
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended, no money made, no characters created.
Spoilers: NUMB3RS season 3, Season 7 of BtVS
Summary: The trials of being a werewolf in the FBI.

The first hurdle Colby had to jump was to get the three kids looked at by a medic without them getting tagged as sick. That would be a problem. He knew that a werewolf metabolism was higher and hotter than humans, so the boy was ‘running a fever.’ And that fever was nothing compared to the girl wrapped around his left leg. Her body was so hot that Colby feared that he might be scorched. The girl on Colby’s right leg was the complete opposite, she was freezing cold.

They knew as well as he that they couldn’t let the medic touch them. So they flinched every time any stranger approached. The medic hated the idea of further traumatizing the kids, so he was only too glad to hand over the equipment and the paperwork for Colby to do a check-up. Colby found an empty corner, where anyone could walk near or see him, but where he’d have some semblance of privacy.

The FBI agent sat on the floor and the kids gathered near and pressed themselves up to him. They were all watching him carefully. Colby realized that they didn’t know for sure what he’d do with them. They didn’t know if he was a friend or a skillfully hidden foe and the language barrier didn’t help any either. Colby knew a little bit of Chinese from his time undercover but most of those words would not apply in this situation.

The girls didn’t trust him enough with their names, though they could have thought that he had been asking for their demon type. In the end, he told hot-girl that she was ‘Girl 1’ and cold-girl that she was ‘Girl 2.’ The girls seemed to find the designation amusing. They corrected him by calling themselves ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang,’ and while it wasn’t their true names, Colby was happy to use the nicknames. He wrote the names onto the paperwork. The werewolf obediently offered his name as ‘Wu.’ Colby didn’t bother to even get the thermometer out of the bag; he just filled in the numbers close to the ‘average’ temperature of a ‘normal’ human. Yin’s he did write two tenths of a degree warm and Yang’s was recorded two tenths of a degree cold. Wu’s was just right. Yin and Yang said that they were eight and Wu was seven years old.

Colby did count and correctly record their pulses and breathing cycles. He also took their blood pressure. When he asked them if they hurt anywhere, they all shook their head no. Yang did show him a raw mark on her leg from a leg iron and Colby treated and wrapped that. It was more for show than for anything else, the mark was healing nicely without treatment.

“Why aren’t these kids with the others?” a stranger demanded.

Colby calmly looked up at the trio of (normal) humans standing above him. “They had been separated from them and they reacted badly to the medics. Since they trusted me, I checked them out.” The agent handed over the paperwork. “May I see your authorization?”

The main man showed Colby an ID signifying he was part of the city social workers. “We need to get these with the other kids. There’ll be translators and agents at the Children’s Home to take statements. I’m sure that you have other duties to attend to that don’t include babysitting.”

The social worker was correct. Don would not wait much longer for Colby to return to his part of the investigation. Reluctantly, Colby walked the three kids with the abrasive social worker to the city vans surrounded by kids and then he walked away. He refused to look back until ‘his’ kids wouldn’t know he had looked. What he saw broke his heart: the kids were fighting the social workers. The werewolf let loose a howl for help and Colby turned his back on them. He would only bring suspicion on them and himself if he intervened now. But he couldn’t stop himself from glancing at the kids again. The werewolf was half-strapped to a gurney and was fighting the three adult social workers with all his strength. When one reached for a needle, Colby couldn’t stand it anymore.

“Don!” he yelled as he raced to Wu’s side. He stopped the social worker from administering the dosage. The girls wiggled free of their captors and clung to his side. Their eyes pleaded that he not leave them again.

Don came a-running. He looked at the boy reaching for Colby and wiggling free of the social workers to Colby, who was removing the needle from the hand of one. “What’s going on here?” he demanded.

The man who had had the needle protested. “The boy needs to settle down and relax; he’s going to hurt himself.”

“He was calm before,” Don argued. “What did you do to him to set him off?”

Megan took the needle from Colby and picked up the vial of drugs and compared the two. “Twenty cc’s? Are you trying to relax the kid or kill him?”

“He’s being very aggressive,” was the defense. Colby pushed the man away from the children and delighted in watching him stumble physically and mental in his tussle with Megan.

“Aggressive?” Megan repeated. “He’s a little boy whose body weight needs only half of this. What were you thinking?”

“He refuses to get into the van.”

“You don’t force kids his age,” Megan was beside herself with anger. “You coerce them, tempt them, bribe them. He just got released from a cage. He saw the van and probably thought he was being transferred to another jail. Are you trying to traumatize him?”

“We can treat him once we get him to the Home. He just needs to be calm for the ride.”

“He was fine before. Did he start fighting when you told him to get in the van or when? If he doesn’t like the van, get a different mode of transportation. And where are the other children?” She suddenly realized that only ‘Colby’s kids’ were around, none of the thirty-some others could be seen.

“We sent them ahead. We didn’t want these kids to traumatize the others.”

“Is that when the three started fighting you?” Megan asked again. Colby was half glad she was making the social worker squirm and half not. He knew that the kids started fighting as soon as he had been no longer watching and in sight of them. They were all quieter with him near and calm if he was touching them.

Colby laid his hand on Wu’s trembling head and listened as the boy sighed with relief.

Megan argued with the social workers for a few more minutes before sending them away in anger. “I can’t believe that they were trying to overdose him. He’s calm now, not that you can call that ‘okay’.”

Colby kept his hand on the werewolf’s head. Wu continued to lay limp if he did so. If Colby removed his hand, the boy would freak, desperately clawing the air reaching for Colby. So the agent stood there, a girl hanging on each side and a hand on the boy’s head.

“I hate that he does that,” Don muttered as he stared at the werewolf child. The human part of Colby agreed, but the wolf part of the agent accepted the submission as his due.

With the horrible psycho-analysis that he hated, Megan defended Colby and the boy. “It’s what he knows, Don. In primitive cultures, it’s an equitable exchange: the weaker offers submission to gain protection. The boy has obviously decided that only Colby can protect him, so he submits unquestionably to Colby.”

“His name is Wu,” Colby added. He was trying to get the others to see him as more than a troubled child.

Don argued, “Yeah, but can’t Colby keep a hand on his arm or chest or something? Why does it have to be on the boy’s… Wu’s head?”

Colby was already shaking his head. “You don’t want me to do that, Don. I don’t know why, but you don’t want my hand on his chest.”

“Oh, yeah,” Don challenged. “Put your hand on his chest. Prove me wrong.”

Since it was a direct order, Colby obeyed. Immediately, the boy strained, trying to nuzzle the hand and lick it. Don went white in response and even Megan looked a little surprised. Nobody argued when Colby put his hand back on the boy’s head. Wu relaxed and closed his eyes.

Megan was still shaking her head. “You can’t let Social Services have the kids, Don. They already screwed it up and it can only get worse. A boy like that… in the wrong home would be a recipe for abuse. The girls are submissives, but not to the same extent. Still, other kids would push them around. The three would be attracted to the most dominate personality and obey them.”

Don turned his back on Colby and the boy. He couldn’t watch it any longer. “You have any suggestions?”

“Let Colby take them home. He obviously has gained their trust and he’s doing a pretty good job running on instincts, knowing how to treat them without abusing them. We can trust Colby to do right by the kids.”

Don nodded once. “And since they were separated from the rest, they might give us additional information about the operation.”

“That works.”

Don turned to look at Colby. “Try to break him of… that.”

“Colby can’t do that overnight,” Megan argued. “It takes years of therapy and even then, some people are naturally submissive. The best Colby can do is exchange one submissive act with a lesser one.”

Don frowned. “Fine. Then get them to the point where they’ll talk to the translators. Bring them to the office tomorrow.”

“Sure thing,” Colby gratefully released the werewolf from his bonds and let Wu climb into his arms.

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